Sex, Sex, Sex

Yes, this post is about a bit of the other. So if you’re likely to be offended, please don’t read any further. Bye.

Look: I’m warning you: we’re going to be covering STIs, condoms, pregnancy, homosexuality and masturbation. Are you really sure you want to read on? If you’re a relative, particularly an elderly one (hi, Mum), you may like to stop here. Then again, there’s nothing too bad in here provided you’re not prudish about that sort of thing. I just wanted to make sure everyone was warned first, ok?

I knew it. You’re just a bunch of pervs, aren’t you?

There was an interesting story on the BBC editors blog today about attitudes to safe sex among the young. I used to be one of these (young that is, not a BBC editor), so I thought it might make for interesting reading. Apparently, youngsters these days are sleeping around all willy-nilly with flagrant disregard for the use of condoms.

Apart from the overt jealously that I never got the chance to sleep around “all willy nilly”, condoms or no, there were a number of interesting points raised — more so by the commenters than by the story themselves.

When I was emerging as a teenager, we had the big education campaigns in the UK — come on, you all know it:

AIDS - Don’t die of ignorance

The ignorance thing presumably being related to the fact that the older generation saw it as a disease prevalent amongst homosexual men and intravenous drug users and very little else. It was interesting to note that in my first year as a student, there were also a few third year students who shared this viewpoint, but by the time I’d reached my third year it was seen as something everyone had to worry about. I’m pretty confident that the message got through to my generation at least — pretty much everyone I knew at that time in my life would use a condom unless they were in a serious relationship.

I don’t know a great deal about the habits of homosexual men, beyond the fact that the one I know best occasionally wears bottle green corduroy trousers, lives in London and went to dinner with the man who played the Emperor in Star Wars, used to visit Iraq quite a bit, and likes his beer. On the other hand, there’s a homosexual Canadian blogger who’s teetotal (I can’t vouch for his trousers or whether or not he’s dined with the Emperor), so we maybe shouldn’t generalise too much from the first example.

As an aside, I’m reading Julian Clary’s autobiography at the moment, where he describes the lack of protection used at a particular point, and suggests that it’s only a crop of anal warts and the enforced lack of activity in that regard that prevented him from catching HIV. Very illuminating, if possibly a little too graphic…

There was an interesting suggestion that in the early days of a hetero relationship it’s much harder for a heterosexual man to insist on a condom though:

…while women are allowed to be blunt, as they’re protecting themselves from getting pregnant, if a man wants to use a condom, he’s basically implying she’s diseased.

I dread being told by a new lover, as I have been before, “Don’t worry, I’m on the pill!”

Obviously, the old standards were also trotted out: avoid sex until marriage, be faithful in marriage, don’t sleep around etc etc. Oh yes, sure. I mean, it’s perfectly sensible advice if you’re wanting to get married but not everyone can — gay marriage isn’t legal everywhere — and besides, lots of people (straight and gay) want to sleep around, and it’s their right to do so if they want, provided they are aware of the risks involved. It might not be what I do, but just because I don’t want to do something doesn’t mean I should take away the right of someone else to do it.

You see, I’m more the “live and let live” type than the “wannabe fascist dictator” type…

I was however shocked, I tell you, shocked at some of the technological developments relating to pregnancy:

…in every issue of any female magazine you are 100% guaranteed to spot at least one “fascinating story” about a teen girl giving birth in the loo, or about another teen girl who got pregnant by accident after a brief email exchange

After a brief email exchange? I would have imagined that there would have had to have been some form of physical contact. Or was someone … erm… how do I put this … doing something with their computer hardware that might invalidate their warranty? If not, then you’ll have to excuse me while I slip a condom on while I’m working at the computer: I don’t want to catch a computer virus.

Look, let’s face it: people will continue to have sex with other people. Why? Because they enjoy it. Or at least they do, if it’s done properly. Also, some people won’t use precautions, regardless of what you tell ‘em. That’s their choice; it’s not very responsible but it’s their choice. As long as people are educated to the dangers then it’s up to them to look after themselves. I’m not going to moralise to you: I guess my readership are intelligent enough to make up their own minds.

Of course, it’s at about this time that I really ought to make some kind of a cheap crack about wanking, along the lines of it’s safe, it’s with someone you love, and you don’t need to take your hand out for a meal beforehand. But I’ll instead leave that to Ben Elton, in conversation with an imaginary big, tough, confident bloke.

Hey, I don’t need to masturbateOther bloke

Nor do I. I just do it ‘cos I enjoy itBen Elton

His name is Ben Elton, goodnight.

4 Responses to “Sex, Sex, Sex”

  1. paul canning responds:

    I think when the drugs started working that AIDS became perceived as a survivable disease and consequently less frightening, making condom use less. If people knew more about the consequences, what being on the drugs actually means and how they will have their life changed for the worse, plus they thought they might be at risk (I don’t think heterosexual people do) then condom use would increase.

  2. Mum responds:

    It wasn’t that shocking ! I could still teach you a thing or two!! I am a child of the revolution you know ! The swinging sixties and all that crap.

  3. Steve responds:

    I can’t say you’ve really sold Julian Clary’s autobiography to me! Anyway, it’s worth checking out Irvine Welsh’s latest novel for some interesting stuff on masturbation.
    PS I think it’s incredible that your mother reads your website and comments on it. I’ve failed in all attempts to interest my Mummy in the web.

  4. JackP responds:

    @Steve: she’s just trying to find out what I’m up to. It’s like wot Patrick said:

    You know you should call your parents more often when they tell you on the phone that they’ve been reading your site’s news section to keep up to date with how you areRedux

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